Work has completed on the first phase of a project to convert a Sheffield student block into all-purpose residential accommodation.
Twenty-nine apartments at Phoenix Court – the entire second floor of the building – have been reconfigured and refurbished and are now fully let. The refurbishment of the first floor, which has a similar number of units, has already begun. The work has been carried out by property management firm Resify, which specialises in transforming undervalued schemes, on behalf of L1 Property.
Phoenix Court, a 1920s grade 1 listed former fire station, was converted into student accommodation and extended in the early 1990s. However with students staying away during the pandemic, occupancy levels plummeted and the company started working with Resify last year to explore other options.
The units, which consisted of a cluster of two or three bedrooms units with a shared kitchen and bathroom but no dedicated living space, were reconfigured to create one and two-bedroom apartments with separate living rooms with a number of the apartments being made open plan.
Resify, which has been working closely with property management firm Leaders throughout, is also reconfiguring and reposition the remaining two floors, which had previously been refurbished by another contractor but which had kept the original layout. The entire project is due to be complete by the end of April.
Phoenix Court is situated in Rockingham Street within the city centre, less than ten minutes’ walk from the city’s two universities, close to bars, offices and shops and 15 minutes from the train station.
Obi Williams, Managing Director of Resify, says: “Phoenix Court is a historic building set in a prime location, however the décor and layout were dated and rental yields well below par for the area. Given the wealth of student accommodation in Sheffield, it made sense to create multi-purpose apartments that appeal to a wider range of occupants.
“We are delighted with the response from tenants, which demonstrates the demand for high-quality, fully furnished apartments in the city centre. The project also shows how an understanding of the local market and a creative approach can transform a single-use development in areas of oversupply.”
L1 Property, which is the UK property investment arm of fund manager L1 Capital, invests in existing and modern residential property with potential for capital growth in major UK cities outside London. It seeks to add value by bringing capital to underinvested assets.